NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Betting Picks for Pelicans vs. Timberwolves & Warriors vs. Trail Blazers (Sunday, April 9)
- The NBA regular season wraps up on Sunday afternoon, and our betting analysts are looking to enter the play-in tournament on a high note.
- They have three best bets ready, including a pick for the pivotal Pelicans vs. Timberwolves matchup.
- Find our best bets and analysis below.
Game 82. Sunday’s sports schedule has plenty to offer, but the NBA is undoubtedly going to be the most chaotic league in action on Easter with all 30 teams playing their final game on the same day. There is still so much to play for today with seeding in the West so jumbled.
Our analysts are targeting three games for their best bets today featuring teams looking to secure their spot in the postseason. Read on for their analysis and three expert picks and for those matchups below.
NBA Odds & Best Bets
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Chris Baker: This is a massive game for the Pelicans as a win basically guarantees them at least the No. 8 seed. The Pelicans have split two games against the Timberwolves this season, most recently losing to them by nine on Jan. 25.
The Pelicans shot horribly in that game and made just 31% of their 3s, while shooting 50.6% from the field. Despite the poor shooting, one could make a case that New Orleans’ offensive process was slightly better as it attempted 41% of its shots from three.
Generating clean looks from deep has been a massive issue all season for the Pelicans. New Orleans ranks 28th in 3-point attempt rate (31.4%) and 26th in corner-3 attempt rate. The Timberwolves have begun to play even bigger with Karl-Anthony Towns’ return to the lineup, so expect the Pelicans to continue to generate 3s in this matchup.
This is the second night of a back-to-back, but none of Minnesota’s players exceeded 30 minutes in a blowout win over the Spurs. This is an interesting matchup for the Wolves offense as they face a Pelicans defense that ranks ninth in rim rate allowed, but 30th in rim-rate accuracy allowed. The Pelicans do a solid job of forcing teams to take outside shots, but lack consistent rim-protection with Valanciunas at the five.
The Timberwolves have a ton of competent wings they can throw at Ingram and I don’t necessarily trust McCollum to carry the load on offense. I think the Timberwolves have a more repeatable offense with Conley/Gobert/Towns pick-and-rolls, and they also have a better ability to space the Pelicans out than vice-versa. I’ll back the Timberwolves at -3.5 at home in what it is arguably their biggest game of the season. Play this up to -4.
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: It’s all a bit messy going into the final day of the regular season. As we parse through the trickiness that comes with certain teams’ motivation (or lack thereof), it’s important to approach these betting situations cautiously.
That said, there is still value to be had.
With so much potential for variance in these final few games, I like to take smaller stabs at bets with higher payouts. For the Jazz, I like a same-game parlay with correlated Agbaji props. I’ll take the over on an alternative points total of 20+, parlayed with over 2.5 made 3-pointers. Those props haven’t come out yet, but let’s try to get +350 or better for that parlay.
Agbaji’s only cleared the 20-point mark four times in the past two weeks, but in each instance, the Jazz have won or covered and it’s come with three or more 3-pointers. For a better option within this long-shot category, let’s add in the Jazz spread at +15 or better, but play this at .25 units. That likely gets us somewhere in the +800 odds range, and I like that better since things get wonky in the last game of the season.
Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Tyler Schmidt: The Warriors are in a meaningful game on the last day of the regular season. They can clinch a playoff birth with a victory and may even climb into the No. 5 seed if the Clippers slip up and lose to the Suns. The Warriors are a pitiful 10-30 on the road this season, but they are 17-point favorites against the tanking Trail Blazers.
Stephen Curry is dealing with a hip contusion, but is probable to play. The Warriors don’t need an explosion game from Curry to beat the Trail Blazers who are without all of their starters. With that said, Curry’s under 28.5 points looks like a strong bet. This points prop seems too high with injury and blowout risk on the table.
Even if Curry plays 30+ minutes, he is capable of not reaching this over. He has failed to score 29 points in two of his last three games despite averaging 35 minutes per game in his two misses. The Trail Blazers are a cupcake matchup, but I would take this Curry under points prop down to 25.5 points given all of the risk today.
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